Advantages of breath lock in yoga

The intention behind Prana Vashya Yoga is to make you physically and psychologically stronger in a natural way.  Breath lock is a natural thing.  You may not even realise you are doing it when you have to concentrate hard (consider having to thread a needle; you hold your breath for a few moments while you do it) or lift a heavy weight (again, you tend to lock your breath).   This shows that there is a clear link between the body/mind and our breath.

It is common experience that when we feel that we are getting angry about something our breathing becomes more rapid as the emotion takes hold of us. The emotions and mental activities are, then, related to the nervous system.  It is through the nervous system that that emotions and mental activities change our breathing. So, if we learn to control our breathing we can conquer the life force which is deeply connected with the mind.

Holding the breath inside your lungs (antar kumbhaka) helps build strength in the torso region, as expanded ribs are being maintained which activates things like the intercostals muscles.  Maintaining expanded ribs also frees your torso making the torso independent.  This is important in terms of teaching your muscles to work independently, as this builds muscle tone.

Holding the breath out with all the air expelled from your lungs (bahya kumbhaka) teaches the body/mind to make more of less. It also helps prepare you to take the best inhalation possible when moving into the next position.  This strengthens the nervous system and saturates the body with a high level of oxygen.

Prana Vashya Yoga requires the use of both antar kumbhaka and bahya kumbhaka when performing Sun Salutations and Vinyasa (i.e. the movement between the different yoga postures in the sequence). This unique approach towards the breath serves as additional support for you to accomplish postures without stressing any internal or external parts of the body.  The pattern of breath and kumbhakas in the Vinyasa also causes you to develop the capacity to maintain consistent breath and calmness of mind during the journey of yoga practice.

Damian is an authorised teacher of Prana Vashya Yoga.  Damian will be opening a Prana Vashya Yoga School on Queens Road in Leicester.  Spaces at the Prana Vashya Yoga School are limited so please register your interest by contacting Damian:


Tel: 0777 900 1896

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